BIS #6950 Apostolic Orientation at Divyadaan

By Clerics Presley Andrade and Stephen Johann for BISMumbai

On 17 and 18 June 2023, the Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy students were given an orientation to prepare them for their upcoming apostolate ministries. Fr Mayank Parmar and Fr Christopher George were the resource persons who facilitated the seminar, gave their input to the students based on their wide-ranging experience in the fields of social work and journalism, respectively, and led them on a process of rethinking the Salesian oratory experience, interpreting the signs of the times, and adapt themselves accordingly.

They introduced them to the various perspectives of the oratory, how the secular world views it, how the Church does it, and how their viewpoint should be as  Salesians. It was indeed two days well spent, and the seeds were sown by the resource persons which will surely bear much fruit in the future ministry of the students.

On the same days, the Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS), Walvanda, held a two-day orientation for 20 brothers from Divyadaan who would be ministering on weekends in Walvanda. The group of brothers arrived in the evening, and were greeted by Br Melvyn Carvalho, the incharge of the oratory centres, as well as Fr Anaclette D’Mello, the Rector. 

An orientation session was conducted by Mr Prakash Wagh where he introduced the Brothers to the different works that the centre carries out, helping them to understand the culture, interests, and aspirations of the people. This session also included talks by Fr D’Mello and Br Carvalho focused on the way or manner in which they were to carry out their ministry every Sunday. Following on, the brothers were told of their oratory places and were given a brief verbal explanation of how they were to reach their centres.

The following day began with the Holy Eucharist at 7 a.m., after which an important practical session followed, when the brothers, along with the volunteers, proceeded towards each oratory, where the brothers were allotted to carry out their ministry or apostolate. The brothers arrived back to Walvanda, late in the afternoon and thanked and appreciated the community of Walwanda for accompanying, guiding, and trusting them with their responsibilities. 

Apostolic experience is an integral and important part of the formation of Brothers at Divyadaan. It is during these weekend ministries that they encounter the young, the poor, and the marginalised. It is these experiences that give them an opportunity to practise the Preventive System of St John Bosco.